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Interview EP03

Age at interview: 65
Age at diagnosis: 49
Brief Outline: Had seizures since 1986. In 2002 these were diagnosed as non-epileptic seizures. Had been taking carbamazepine (Tegretol). Is currently being weaned off medication. Seizures have now stopped.
Background: Retired; single, no children.

More about me...

 

Recalls the tests he had and feeling claustrophobic during the MRI scan.

Recalls the tests he had and feeling claustrophobic during the MRI scan.

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Yes, I've undergone a CAT scan, an MRI scan, the EEG, the electroencephalograph, I think that's the way they say it, where they stick this thing like a crown on your head and you're wired into a machine.  

Can you tell me what the CT scan involves? 

Yes you lie on a, like a stretcher on this machine, its got a hoop and they just put your head inside the hoop, the rest of you is outside and its not at all unpleasant. You just see this little red light whizzing round and round in a circle and back again as they're taking the scan. And I have been on the other end of the scan, I've been, in the Red Cross we took a patient in to have a CT scan and I've seen how it forms in the control room there. Masses and masses of photographs that slice, effectively slice your head and its x-rays really, or a kind of x-ray.

And the MRI?

That's a different kettle of fish. I am not claustrophobic at all but I'm afraid I was in that machine, its very, very noisy, it rumbles and you're in a very, very confined space, I couldn't get out of it quick enough. But again I think it produces much the same sort of result as a CT scan, in other words it slices the body.

 

Describes the seizures he had which were finally diagnosed as non-epileptic.

Describes the seizures he had which were finally diagnosed as non-epileptic.

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The fits themselves again vary in intensity and I'm one of these people, I don't go unconscious. At least that's a very rare thing and if I do its apparently only a second or two, its between realising I'm gonna hit the floor and hitting the floor. As soon as I get up, as soon as I'm on the floor I'm awake, I'm conscious again, but there's nothing I can do about things. I'm shaking, I'm shaking away there. I can hear people talking, I can hear what they're saying, in particular they say 'Oh phone for the ambulance, phone for the ambulance.' Now I don't want an ambulance, its no good, absolutely no good unless 

I've damaged myself which thankfully is a rare occasion.

But really in my own case when I'm at that stage its usually crash, bang, wallop on the floor, have a little shake and I'll feel groggy for perhaps an hour, hour and a half, and then I'm more or less back to normal.

 

Discusses some of the changes he made to his home.

Discusses some of the changes he made to his home.

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I had to have some additional rails fitted in the bathroom for example and the bed. I've got one of these monkey bar things over my bed, but that's not so much for epilepsy, that's for my back injury. I do get very worried about having a bath by myself because if I have a seizure in the bath it could be fatal, I could drown. You're supposed to have a shower but I can't get a shower, the people concerned won't allow me to have a shower fitted and I don't really want to push it too much because I don't want to leave this particular flat, I'm quite happy in here. I am on the whole able to look after myself and do all the usual things that one would do at home, cooking, eating, um cleaning - though you wouldn't think so at the moment! 

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